When you look at the state of our environment it’s clear that things are going to have to change, though it’s not clear whether it’ll be voluntarily or out of necessity. What will help define that answer will be the actions that we decide to take as a society. One thing we can do to help our situation will be to incorporate Integrated Pest Management into our practices, whether in gardening or in agriculture, so that the techniques and education around it can become widespread. It’s going to take an effort on all our behalves because it won’t be easy due to the various factors in play that could interfere with the adoption of IPM.
One said factor is the belief that many farmers have that “the only good bug is a dead bug.” At its core, this statement goes against everything that IPM stands for. Integrated Pest Management is all about seeing nature as an ecosystem rather than just a tool for our survival. It requires an understanding of how plants interact with their environment and how that relationship can be affected and have negative or positive consequences. It requires monitoring in order to understand the ecosystem that you are interacting with, as everyone has different factors that will affect it. The soil is different, the climate is different, and therefore the plants and animals that thrive in that environment are different. For this reason, the type of management for pests will be different, which requires a lot of monitoring in order to understand the proper approach for each individual circumstance. First and foremost, this means those farmers who believe that there are no good bugs will have to go through a perspective change. Maybe equally as difficult, they will have to invest in education and experimentation in order to get an understanding of how to incorporate IPM into their agricultural practices. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury or the resources to invest in either of those two. For some farmers, experimentation can lead to an unsuccessful season, which could mean the loss of their farm. Agriculture is a cutthroat business, and ironically, those who help feed our society many times don’t have enough to feed their own families.
It is crucial that we incorporate sustainability into our societies to ensure that we can continue to develop and thrive without creating extensive harm, both to the planet and to our communities. Yet, sustainability continues to be something that is not fully understood by many and ends up falling in line with being a trend rather than an entire mindset change. To create a lasting impact, there not only needs to be action taken by companies and citizens alike, but there also needs to be education put in place that allows the citizens to truly understand what it means to be sustainable, and what actions will actually have an impact versus which are being done simply as a means to appear more “eco-friendly”.
The idea of sustainability that we most often refer to is the “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” In other words, the focus is on how we can minimize the amount of resources we consume or the amount of damage that we produce so as to not interfere with the viability of future generations. This has caused us to focus more on reduction, especially of greenhouse gasses and carbon emissions, yet this emphasis has also provided companies, as well as citizens, with the ability to mitigate their responsibility thanks to carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are meant to be a way of neutralizing your carbon footprint by allowing you to fund environment-oriented projects that are focused on reducing greenhouse gasses, protecting forests, promoting renewable energy, and many more. The problem is that now you don’t necessarily have to reduce any of your own carbon footprint or live a more sustainable lifestyle whatsoever as long as you purchase enough carbon offsets to make you seem more “eco-friendly”, because the reality is that they haven’t been proven to make much of a difference when it comes to climate change, and many carbon offsets have been found to be scams. Continue reading “Sustainability: Rethinking Our Connection With Nature and How We Go About Affecting It”→
Boasting the world’s 2nd most painful sting, the Tarantula Hawk also happens to be the largest species of wasp in North America! These enormous spider wasps are most notorious for their macabre breeding habits but are also becoming well known for their ranking on the insect sting pain index. Only trailing in behind the bullet ant in terms of “sting pain” Coyote felt it necessary to experience this fear inducing sting before taking on the highly anticipated bullet ant challenge.
It was a Thursday afternoon and everything was planned to go up north to visit UC Davis with my boyfriend and our friend, whom would be attending for the fall of 2015. We meant to leave after I got off work, but turns out that my car broke down and instead we decided we would have to drop it off at my house and we would go in my bf’s car. After hours of trying to get my car to work, my car was fixed, we dropped it off, and our road trip began. Driving up to Davis overnight we had to stop to grab a bite; luckily we found an In N Out and we stopped to eat.
After eating we got back on the road to arrive around 4 in the morning at the University. Our friend was able to sleep in the dorms, but my bf and I had to find a place to visit or stay while he had a tour of the school. We found a hotel to stay at that Friday, slept in, and once our friend was done we went to take a tour around the schools neighborhood, which was nice and peaceful (really good ice cream too!). After a long trip and long day we all went to sleep in our queen bed that fit the three of us! Next morning we got up and went to grab some delicious breakfast next door to our hotel. We got back on the road after a few hours, finding where to go as we drove. We ended up deciding on Lake Tahoe. None of us had ever gone so our next adventure began soon after the decision was made!
Ahh the beauty of it all. The luscious moss, dripping off the sides of the trees. The trees themselves, grandiose and strong. The smell is overwhelming, the essence of freedom and life that it gives off.
One deep breathe, and you forget it all. One deep breathe and you become it all.
I continue my stroll, feeling the grass drape itself over my toes. The softness, the liveliness. It shouts green, it whispers life.
“Tell me all your secrets, tell me where you came from”
I kneel down, rub my hands through it. It embraces everything it touches. It continues to call my name, and I am powerless to its beauty. I lay down. Let it speak to me. It holds me as the rays of the sun creep through the trees. They creep closer, advancing forward in silence, bringing its warmth along for the ride. It starts with the toes, climbs up through the legs, embraces my torso, massages my arms, and covers my face. Tingles run down my skin as my body embraces what gives it life. I close my eyes, let the beauty sink in.
Growing up I was raised as a member of the Catholic church, attended mass every Sunday, and went through the processes of baptism and first communion. I mostly viewed all this as a way to spend quality time with my family, but it did open my eyes to great powers. It taught me the power of hope and faith; the way it allowed those who had reached a dark abyss to manage to turn their lives around. These people told their stories with great passion, great sincerity, and in the end the message was always the same; “I thank God for showing me the path and giving me the strength I needed to fight for my life”. My question was always the same as well, “Who is God”?